Lawrence Young was born in May 1958 in Norfolk, Virginia. The
son of a
U.S. Navy officer, David spent his formative years moving from
one naval base to another, including stints in Virginia, South
Carolina, Japan, and Washington D.C.
David’s parents were very involved
in music, and by age six he was performing in theatre productions,
church choirs, and glee clubs. His first public theatre performance
was in 1964 when he played the part of Louis Leonowens in The
King and I before more than 3,000 military personnel and their
the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan. David’s first formal music
lessons began at age seven, when he studied classical piano. The
next year, 1966, David watched the Beach Boys perform live, saw
the Beatles’ film Help!, and received his first
stringed instrument – a ukulele.
In 1969, David’s father retired
from the Navy and moved the family to Levittown, Pennsylvania,
where David resumed classical piano lessons; he also continued
to be involved in the theatre as well as church and school choirs.
In 1970, David met Jamie Thompson in their seventh grade Spanish
class. Although it was several years before the two began playing
music together, they became fast friends. While Jamie focused more
on the rock’n’roll genre, David’s music was more
on folk oriented. By 1973 David was writing and performing original
songs at school, churches, and coffeehouses. He also continued
to be involved in the theatre and performed in many dramatic plays
and musicals. David also was a member of the Neshaminy High School
Concert Choir, which toured in Germany and performed at the Academy
of Music in Philadelphia.
The first musical interaction between
David and Jamie occurred in the spring of 1974 when the two friends
jammed at several house parties. Then, in the fall of 1975, the
two formed the Treetoads, a progressive folk/rock band committed
to writing and performing original music. In addition to Jamie
and David on guitar, the band also featured Edna Shandleman on
cello, Jeff Snyder on flute, Dan Kelly on bass and mandolin, and
Ed Stanton on percussion. Although the Treetoads only performed
twice in public (Bucks County Community College and the Neshaminy
High School Spring Arts Festival), the partnership between Thompson
and Young formed the nucleus of what eventually became Red Rose
After David graduated high school in
1976, he moved to State College, PA, to study English literature
at Penn State. While there, David teamed up with a Neshaminy High
Concert Choir friend, Jerry Getz, and the two performed primarily
at coffeehouses, house parties, and University-related events.
While the duo initially performed mostly cover songs, it wasn’t
long before they were adding their original songs to the repertoire.
By the fall of 1977, the two had a substantive following and added
several local bars and restaurants to their schedule.
During the summers of 1977 and 1978,
David and Jerry worked with Jamie on writing and performing original
music. In July 1978, the trio first performed as Red Rose Cotillion
at an outdoor concert in Langhorne, PA, as well as several parties.
Then, in the spring of 1980 Jamie moved to State College for good,
and Red Rose Cotillion morphed into a full-fledged rock’n’roll
band. See the History of RRC for more details.
Throughout the original Red Rose Cotillion
years, David remained prolific as a songwriter, penning a healthy
of folk-oriented ballads as well as straight-ahead rock’n’roll
tunes. Many of his songs dealt with social issues, from capital punishment
(Awaiting Execution) to nuclear proliferation (Time), and by the
time the band broke up, RRC had gained the reputation of not only
a high-energy jam band but a group with a message as well.
After RRC, David moved to Pittsburgh
with Budd Kelly, who invited David
to join a new incarnation of Budd’s former band, Arabesque.
The band performed at the 1982 Festival of the Arts as well as
the Phyrst. The next spring,
David and Budd established a new group, LightFace, with bassist
James Hudson Ashworth, drummer Scott Dietz, and saxophonist Christian
Bruckoff. Although Lightface only remained together for a short
time, the group performed at a number of venues, including the
1984 Festival of the Arts.
In 1985, when Jamie Thompson moved from
Santa Cruz, California to Pittsburgh, David, Budd, and Jamie formed
a new incarnation of Red Rose Cotillion and produced After
the Flood, which included several legacy RRC songs such as “Wind,” “Running
Free,” and Jamie’s song “Nomad.” Teaming
up with bassist James Hudson Ashworth and drummer Steve Mobley,
they performed the collection at several Pennsylvania venues, including
the Phyrst and the 1987 State College Festival of the Arts.
1987, David moved from Pittsburgh to Westport, Connecticut.
During the 1990s,
to New Jersey, where he began a career as a communications
concentrated on writing songs, and worked on improving
his guitar playing, performing mostly at churches, weddings,
coffeehouses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
David and Jamie teamed up with a bass player and drummer
to perform a set of original songs at an outdoor concert
in Washington’s Crossing, Pennsylvania. Shortly after
that, David moved to New Hampshire, where he currently lives.
to write and perform extensively, most often with Crazy Cowz (www.myspace.com/dlythecrazycows). He has produced two solo CDs,
Songs for a Winter’s
Eve and Pencil Sketches, and is working on a
new CD with his partner, Susan Lang.